Boozy And Frothy

An eclectic but wonderful line up of things from the past week…

Late July street corn seasoned tortilla chips. Good but not great, I would buy them again but definitely wouldn’t eat them with salsa.

I am glad I bought these mini bottles of insanely flavored whiskeys from Skatter Brain because the resulting cocktails were perfect. Sidenote – I learned while writing this post that that is how you pluralize whiskey.

Birthday Cake Shake – Vanilla cake whiskey vigorously shaken with amaretto, fresh orange juice, sugar, and an egg white.

P.S. I used my egg yolk to make a fantastic mug brownie. I topped it with Ben & Jerry’s newest flavor (vanilla ice cream with salted caramel, graham cracker swirl, and cookie dough) and swooned.

Peanut Butter and Jellies – Peanut butter whiskey (plus a bit of vodka for balance) with blueberry jam, Luxardo cherry, and strawberry seltzer.

Related – I love passionfruit and this Truly hard seltzer was just great.

Roast take-out sandwich (bbq brisket with onion rings and jalopeno slaw on a pretzel roll!!) with a mountain of roasted green beans.

Spicy salmon sushi bake that we adored. With leftover brown rice and a blend of canned and hot smoked salmon. Plus a cucumber salad.

Best meal of the week – Trader Joe’s Thai Vegetable Gyoza (yum!) / sauteed bok choy / homemade turkey meatballs with panade, hoisin, and gojuchang / homemade Sriracha mayo and dumpling sauce (yum!).

Fellow Northeasterners, stay warm this weekend!

Cookie x Cookie

Highlights from another exceptionally tasty week…

A brunch date at Blacksmith’s Breads. I got a vanilla quad iced latte.

And an egg burrito with extra veggies. This was only ok (who puts carrots on a burrito? And it needed way more hot sauce) but Adam’s egg and cheese sandwich was a work of art.

Cookie x cookie coffee wins. I 11/10 loved the Stew Leonard’s cookie dough flavored coffee and also enjoyed the Califa cookie butter almond milk creamer far more than I was expecting to.

Sliced Hunnyz apple (a new favorite) with honey, cinnamon, and chunky peanut butter.

Yogurt bowl with plain skry, vanilla bean paste, honey, persimmon, passionfruit, chia seeds, and vanilla almond granola.

See also, plain skyr with cinnamon, blueberry jam, persimmon, Mineola tangerine, and granola.

We spent an obscene amount of money on Taco Bell delivery for dinner one night so I tried to bring balance back to the Force with a green juice. Lol, unfortunately I grabbed the wrong bottle because this ended up basically being lemonade with aloe and chlorophyll.

We liked these Zapp’s honey mustard pretzels a lot. Not as much as Dot’s but more than their voodoo variety which ended up being too seasoned for us. Also, I use the adjective “jazzy” at least four times a week so clearly I had to buy these.

We loved these Trader Joe’s lentil and chickpea crisps. Great texture.

These Ben & Jerry’s s’mores cookie dough bites are my favorite thing I’ve ever eaten. I love everything about them but the truffles specifically are mind-blowing.

Leftover jalopeno cheddar hushpupies from Sweet Chick with honey and leftover crab dip.

The Burrito Blvd near our apartment has the best toppings; this rice bowl was 40% rice and 60% chopped zuchinni (my ideal burrito bowl ratio). Also chicken, corn, tomato, cheese, and mild salsa.

Homemade laab. I followed this recipe. We quite enjoyed it and were not sad to have sourced toasted rice powder. Plus sauted bok choy with ginger and sesame seeds.

Spicy, tomato-y chickpea bowls. I sauteed graffiti eggplant and sweet onion with fire-roasted diced tomatoes, harissa, and chickpeas. Topped with plain yogurt and fresh mint.

Homemade cashew chicken. I followed this recipe except that I swapped breasts for thighs and added red bell pepper. With brown basmatti rice and roasted broccoli.

P.S. We have exciting dinner reservations tonight for Omakase at Koyo. I’m not bringing my camera but from what I can tell online everything should be gorgeous (and delicious!).

Gojuchang And Reese’s

Some highlights from an exceptionally yummy week! We had some bonkers-good snacks and dinners the past few days…

Sumo mandarins and new Hunnyz apples – perfectly sweet and with a balanced texture, not super crisp but not at all mealy.

Yuzu beverages, both winners. I mixed the High Tide sparkling water with iced matcha and the Lunar hard seltzer with vodka.

Crispy lentils. I loved how roasty these were.

Snack Mates pizza and chicken and waffle flavored meat sticks. These were great.

Strawberry chocolate mochi. This was definitely the best packaged mochi I’ve tried.

The Reese’s Big Cups continue to be the ultimate candy; this new Reese’s Puffs variety was a 10/10. My personal ranking is potato chip > puffs > pretzel. Meanwhile, we liked these so much we bought a box of Puffs and I was very underwhelmed by them in cereal bowl form.

I don’t accept many product samples for the blog these days but this was truly the perfect fit – Prospector Popcorn. The flavors were delicious (the Belgian chocolate toffee was my favorite), they were super fresh, and none of the coatings contain palm oil. We truly loved these and have already ordered more bags with our own money. Huge bonus – this company is a non-profit dedicated to employing people with disabilities (74% of their current workforce).

Korean chicken bowls. Sliced chicken thighs marinated in gojuchang, soy sauce, garlic, and brown sugar and sauted in canola oil. With green onion, sesame seeds, and chopped roasted baby cauliflower.

Salads. Green lettuce with balsamic vinaigrette, crispy lentils, roasted carrots (rainbow baby carrots roasted with butter, evoo, honey, cinnamon, smoked paprika, and urfa pepper), and a fried egg.

Pizza bites (this recipe – we loved it!), garlic turkey meatballs, and roasted romanesco with pizza sauce for dipping.

Pizza-inspired tteokbokki. Rice cakes / roasted cabbage and red onion / green onions / shredded chicken breast / pizza sauce with gojuchang, gochugaru, sugar, evoo, and water / pizza blend shredded cheese.

(Raise The) Bar Food

Highlights from the past week…

This week’s eggnog plus coffee we brought back from Hawaii.

Sugar cookie kefir from Lifeway. Good, though not as good as I thought it would be.

Cosmic Crisp apple. It was good but hard to describe, somehow firm and juicy but not crispy?

Mountain Dew’s fruit cake soda is my new favorite mixer! Downright delicious with spiced rum.

This week’s dinners were all a) great, and b) bar food themed! We covered tacos, nachos, cheeseburgers, chicken tenders, and pickles! Taco salad. Chopped romaine / Sugar Bomb tomatoes / avocado / black beans / extra-sharp cheddar / ground turkey sauted with white onions and taco seasoning / cracked pepper / homemade ranch dressing – sour cream, lime, Crystal hot sauce, and ranch seasoning. I would have said that I don’t care about ranch dressing but this stuff was fantastic.

Pickled oven baked tofu tenders plus roasted broccoli. Sprouted extra-firm tofu / marinated in pickle juice, soy sauce, Sriracha, and garlic / dipped in a mix of flour, cornstarch, sugar, and smoked paprika – then egg – then panko bread crumbs / baked at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. So crispy.

Cheeseburger inspired nachos plus roasted green beans with ranch. Trader Joe’s dill pickle chips / extra-sharp cheddar / ground turkey sauted with garlic, ketchup, and yellow mustard / Kewpie / chopped Sugar Bomb tomato, white onion, and dill pickle.

Traditional nachos, actual bar food. I worked a 10.5 hour day on Thursday (!!, coming back from a vacation means extra work, being short-staffed near the holiday means extra work, and training an intern means things move more slowly, and all three factors converged horribly this week) so I grabbed take-out for dinner on my way home. Nachos with cheese sauce and cheddar, chicken, corn, tomatoes, peppers and onion, and zucchini.

Thankful For Family

This year I worked Thanksgiving Day but then had Friday off for a long weekend — so my parents came to visit! They loved getting to experience the cold (not many 45 degree days in St. Thomas!) and spend time with their granddog and we did a bunch of great New York exploring. Our travels included Time Square, Bryant Park, Chelsea Market, Industry City, Bushwick, Greenpoint, and Hudson!

I did not take a single dinner photo – we went to the oldest steakhouse in New York and also had outstanding meals at Kitty’s in Hudson and Glasserie in Brooklyn! – but here are a few highlights from the past week…

I managed to eat many on-theme things on Thanksgiving.

My parents and I stuck with tradition and ate Thanksgiving nachos – Trader Joe’s stuffing chips with smoked turkey, sauteed shishitos, swiss and gruyere, and cranberry sauce. Plus sauteed green beans with butter and lemon.

Plus Loryn Powell said that Fireball and banana cream rum tastes like a Cinnabon so my mom and I tried it with a maple pecan cream liquer and were quite impressed!

We were also pleased with these Tip Top mini canned cocktails.

We tried – and loved – one of the Zaro’s specialty black and white cookies – mint chocolate.

We found the Oishii omakase strawberries on sale! Fun to try but no one really preferred them to standard strawberries.

Everyone thought that Fortunes Ice Cream in Trivoli makes the best ice cream we’ve ever tried. I got persimmon and the sour cherry labne.

Broad rice noodles with tofu from Bangkok Bar in Industry City – I’ve wanted to go there for forever and now I want to go back immediately.

Great iced latte from Wycoff Starr.

Festive yogurt bowl with plain skry, frozen banana bread, brown sugar syrup, cinnamon, and sumatra mandarin.

It’s Starting To Taste Like Winter

Highlights from this week…

Wonderful yogurt bowl – plain skyr with granola and persimmon.

Milk Bar birthday cake iced latte.

Great horchatta with espresso at For All Things Good.

I pulled pumpkin chocolate chip cookies out of the freezer and they were even more amazing than I remembered.

I’m not ready for eggnog yet (make that – I am always ready for nog but I am not releasing the eggnog floodgate yet) but I have fully embraced peppermint! Like the limited release Wendy’s peppermint frosty.

Or Minter Wonderland ice cream.

Brooklyn Cupcake! Cojito, tiramisu, and guava cheese.

Best iteration yet of the butternut squash we make every year. This year we served it as a warm salad. Roasted butternut squash and shredded brussel sprouts, Trader Joe’s sweet and spicy pecans, dried cherries, and homemade dressing (3 T lemon juice, 3 T maple syrup, 2 T stone ground mustard, 1 T Kewpie, 1 T crystal hot sauce.

A meta dinner win – cobb salad egg salad in endive lettuce cups. Eggs with mayo and mustard, chives, avocado, turkey bacon, and blue cheese.

Buffalo chicken salad (shredded chicken with mayo, Franks, vinegar, blue cheese, and chives) with roasted broccoli and Japanese sweet potato.

Pumpkin, Peppermint, Prezels

Fun things from this weekend – we early voted and it only took a couple of minutes! The weather was gorgeous and we took a bunch of long, beautiful walks.

Food highlights included…

In a fit of out-of-season joy I bought and loved a peppermint mocha ice latte.

Brunch at Emilia’s Bakehouse in Melville. We had great lattes.

And a preztel croissant.

Loved this Aura Bora flavor. They have two new seasonal flavors I am dying to get my hands on.

I also tried and loved two new boozy seltzer cans. The June Shine passion fruit vodka soda has all my favorite things!

Great new flavor from Chip – a brown sugar cookie made with apple butter, stuffed with a caramel apple filling, and topped with cinnamon sugar.

Desserts in Astoria. Baklava and Knafeh.

Thai food in Astoria. I got extra-spicy drunken noodles with extra veggies and mock duck.

Plus we shared great crab rangoon.

Trader Joe’s pumpkin-shaped pasta with homemade meat sauce (pizza sauce with ground turkey and ground chicken, garlic, salt, pepper, urfa pepper, smoked paprika, and three cheese blend). Plus rainbow cauliflower.

Squash The Competition

Can you beleive we’re in November?! Highlights from the first week…

I ended October with a homemade Frankenstein tea latte. Matcha with ube.

And I started November with cookie butter cold brew from Dunkin’. <– swoon, by the way

Two bougie snacks, one win. We really loved the Blue Stripes Cacao chocolate covered cacao beans (we’ve liked everything we’ve tried from this company so far, actually; Adam is in love with their cacao waters). I expected to love the cookie butter because this company makes my favorite peanut butter but it had an overwhelming coconut flavor that I did not care for.

The cookie butter was not terrible in a yogurt bowl.

But I much preferred this yogurt bowl with chocolate sunflower seed butter (plus plain skyr, blueberries, and vanilla granola).

We both 10/10 love these honey mustard pretzels.

An easy but delicious Trader Joe’s frozen items dinner – chicken goyza potstickers with gojuchang vegetable stir fry.

Homemade meatballs – a blend of chicken and turkey with tons of garlic and parmesan – with roasted kobucha squash. Plus a maple Sriracha dipping sauce. It turns out that kobucha squash is my favorite thing and I want to eat more immediately.

Roasted delicata squash (this recipe) with egg salad. The egg salad was loaded up with dill pickles, smoked paprika, horseradish, yellow mustard, and mayo (Kewpie + boring).

Best Of The Month

I’m posting a day early because I am heading to Ohio to celebrate my grandmother’s birthday! My mom will be there too!! It’s all very exciting!

Highlights from this past week include…

It’s Pumpkin Month but the apple selection has still been great – Lady Alice, Snap Dragon, and SweeTango.

I saved my favorite pumpkin beers for last – Schlafly pumpkin ale and Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin.

Kilwin’s chocolate dipped marshmallows are one of my favorite treats, especially with holiday sprinkles.

We 11/10 loved these elevated jalpeno poppers from Whole Foods.

Pumpkin turkey chili. Ground turkey, sweet onion, poblano pepper, yellow and orange bell pepper, pumpkin puree, diced tomatoes, black beans, great northern beans, pumpkin ale, salt and pepper, smoked paprika, cinnamon, mace, soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, and minced ginger. Topped with sour cream and Trader Joe’s hot and sweet pickled jalopenos.

Served with pumpkin tortilla chips and pimento cheese dip.

Pumpkin pasta. Ground turkey with pumpkin puree, chili crisp, and sour cream on whole-wheat pasta.

Plus roasted broccoli tossed with a mix of Korean chili flake, brown sugar, minced ginger, fish sauce, and rice vinegar.

Screamsickle

Highlights from the past week include…

Chobani pumpkin spice Greek yogurt with strawberries, granola, and chia seeds.

Noosa pumpkin yogurt with blackberries and granola.

See also – I really enjoyed this Elleno’s Greek yogurt with lemon curd.

As much as I love potato chips I also really like things that are pretending to be potato chips. Wilde’s chicken chips (this chicken and waffles variety is my favorite).

Biena’s Hawaiian bbq chickpea and veggie crisps.

Local pumpkin beers. Bronx Brewery’s Tattooed Pumpkin IPA (7.5/10) and Blue Point’s Big Mother Pumpkin imperial pumpkin ale (8.5/10).

Also local, also for spooky season – Sixpoint’s Screamsickle orange and vanilla hazy DIPA (8.5/10).

A fun date night – Adam and I went out to For Five Coffee for these tasty churro pancakes with dulce de leche drizzle, chocolate pearls, and horchatta ice cream.

Pumpkin Month pasta. Trader Joe’s butternut squash pasta with roasted zucchini, Seemore’s chicken kale pesto sausage, and Sauces n Love pink pesto sauce. [note to future Emily – we did not like the pink pesto!]

Fantastic noodles and veggie bowls. Whole-wheat vermicelli / nom choc / chicken breast cooked in the crockpot with soy sauce, rice vinegar, lime, ginger, and honey / roasted brussel sprouts / chili crisp.

Turkey reuben inspired sheet-pan hash. We loved this! Roasted potatoes and cabbage with smoked turkey, sourkraut, and homemade 1000 island dressing.